Seldom do we get to cover beautiful, luxurious homes that also have historic significance to our state. The Apker Estate in Des Moines, currently on the market for $4,185,000, is therefore a breath of fresh air.
Let me take you through a brief history of this plot of land.
Gordon Apker says that the first known owner of the home was Captain George Roberts of the Alaska Steamship Company, whose property became a trading site for their passengers and Native Americans. Roberts went on a bit of a building spree on his initial 12 acres of land, where he built his first home, then a barn in 1899, a Chicken Coop in 1903 to house his exotic bird collection (!) and then finally a second home across the street in 1916.
Fast forward several years to Apker buying the property in the early 1970s (side note: you might know Apker as the former assistant at Shakey’s that went on to own and sell the entire franchise in 1989).
Apker and his wife restored, rebuilt and expanded the barn, and converted the Chicken Coop to a Car Museum of sorts – to house his classic car collection. The Apkers hosted 18 years of fundraising events for Children’s Hospital on the property (check out this Seattle Times article from 1992 detailing the soirees).
Apker’s construction finished up in 1976, at which point he had purchased additional waterfront property bringing the residence’s total waterfront footage to 162+ feet (and 1.34 acres). Apker was heavily involved in the remodel process; designing, building and overseeing all the construction himself.
Many years, several remodels and countless memories later – the Apkers are selling their home. Veronique Hval with Windermere is listing the five bedroom / five bath home separately from the Barn – at $4,185,000 million.
Along with the history, here are some other of our favorite features:
- The large antique bar in the den came from the Butte Hotel in Butte, Montana
- The chairs at that bar were built by the same company that built the 13 Coins chairs
- The large stained glass window in the formal dining room came from a house in Belgium (probably originally from a church)
- The stained glass windows in the in-law apartment came from a church in San Francisco
- The below-ground refrigerated wine cellar holds 122 cases of wine
- The ceramic tiles of whimsical frogs in the master shower were shipped in from Italy
- There are two full kitchens and a butler’s pantry with a stove and oven for catering purposes
- The little house by the driveway (which gets used by valets for events at the house) was built by Apker’s grandfather during World War II.